London: England were set to concede a significant first-innings lead after their toil against New Zealand’s batsmen at Lord’s on Friday.
Kane Williamson during his 92 yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
This first Test of an Ashes summer was not going to plan for England after two days, as each of the Kiwis’ top three made half-centuries and No 4 four was on course to follow them in a stumps total of 303 for two in reply to 389 all out.
A stand of 148 between Martin Guptill (70) and Tom Latham (59) was followed, after the two openers eventually went in successive overs, by an unbroken partnership of 155 between Kane Williamson (92 not out) and Ross Taylor (47 not out).
England’s bowlers found precious little of the aerial movement in evidence for their counterparts throughout day one — and when they did get the ball off straight, the tourists were well up to the task.
James Anderson, just three wickets short of becoming the first Englishman to take 400 in Tests, barely beat the bat as Guptill and Latham demonstrated exactly how best to go about their business — defending, leaving and often driving expertly.
England did not help themselves when debutant Mark Wood took what should have been a maiden wicket only to hear a no-ball call which chalked it off, and Ian Bell dropped a sharp but clear-cut chance at third slip off Ben Stokes as Guptill and then Latham were both reprieved in the 20s.
England: 389 (J Root 98, B Stokes 92; T Boult 4-79, M Henry 4-93) lead NZ: 303-2 (K Williamson 92*, M Guptill 70; S Broad 1-42) by 86 runs